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Universal Announces STEVE JOBS Biopic Cast, Begins Shooting

It's been a long road for the Steve Jobs biopic, but the pieces are finally in place and the film is moving to the shooting face. Universal Studios announced on Tuesday that filming begins this Friday and officially unveiled a cast featuring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels.

Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past, 12 Years a Slave) will play Steve Jobs, the pioneering founder of Apple, with Academy Award®-winning actress Kate Winslet (The Reader, Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind) starring as Joanna Hoffman, former marketing chief of Macintosh. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, is played by Seth Rogen (Neighbors, The Interview), and Jeff Daniels (HBO’s The Newsroom, Good Night, and Good Luck.) stars as former Apple CEO John Sculley. The film also stars Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Being Flynn) as Chrisann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girlfriend, and Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Apple Macintosh development team.

I would link back to all the casting issues Steve Jobs has gone through, but it would be too much. Christian Bale was linked to the film when David Fincher was set to direct. Bale left. Fincher left. Director Danny Boyle signed on. He was interested in Leonardo DiCaprio. Then Bale signed on. Then Bale left ... again. Finally Fassbender agreed to play Steve Jobs.

That's when Sony Pictures dropped the biopic and Universal picked it up.

Universal didn't announce a release date for Steve Jobs, but the picture does have a plot.

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, the film takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.

Over at Slashfilm, they have a description of how these scenes will breakdown.

The film follows Steve Jobs (played by Michael Fassbender) primarily through three production announcements — for the original Mac; Jobs’s NEXT cube computer; and the Apple iMac. (It was incorrectly reported at one point that the iPod keynote is featured.)
While the film takes place almost entirely during these three events, we do get a few flashbacks:
  • One with Steve Wozniak (played by Seth Rogen) in the garage talking about the original Mac, focusing on the conversation over whether or not to make the Mac a closed system.
  • Another shows Steve Jobs removed from power at Apple. This is where Jeff Daniels would be playing John Sculley.
  • We also see a few snippets showing Job’s home life. This is where we see Jobs’ daughter, who ages 5 to 19 throughout the story played by Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo and Perla Haney-Jardine.
Each keynote builds around several conflicts and the main one is usually intercut with the flashbacks. The flashbacks are very quick — used to heighten the drama of the moments at the keynotes. I’ve heard they take up less than 10% of the 177 page shooting script which I’ve heard described as “fantastic” but “not super Sorkin-y”.

When he discussed the structure of Steve Jobs back in November 2012, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin mentioned that the three scenes would be focus on the unveilings of the Mac, the NeXT and the iPod. Slashfilm now says that it will be the iMac instead of the iPod.

I'm so happy this film found new life at Universal. There's so much talent involved, and the movie sounds like it's going to be a departure from the traditional biopic.
Universal Announces STEVE JOBS Biopic Cast, Begins Shooting Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 1/27/2015 Rating: 5

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